"Peter Paul Boinis has a $300-a-day habit and no hope or desire for a cure. His addictions is to sport fishing specifically marlin fishing. He spends most of his days and more than $100,000 a year at it and only wishes he had more of both to sink in the deep blue sea.
boinis, 40, has built marinas at Ocean City, Md. and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., ostensibly to earn a living but actually so that he always has a place to tue up Follow the SUn , his custom-built 51-foot fishing yacht.
His boat ought to be named Folow the Fish , because that is what she does without ceasing through the seasons. Her bow has plowed the waters of the whole of the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, the myriad honey holes of the Spanish Main and the great gray South Atlantic. For a change of pace he annually flies to fish off Australia or Africa.
He is and expects to remain single, being married to the boat. She has served him well but is three years old now and beginning to show her age a little, he already has his eye on a younger, trimmer beauty.
As anyone who has ever owned even a small cabin cruises knows, running a boat is as complicated as managing a household, with the problems and costs multiplied tenfold. Boinis's helpmate is Captain Stan Rewer, 36 and their relationship is as subtle and demanding as that of wife and husband. Rewer serves but is not subservient. Boinis in master but not lord.
They still are feeling each other out, Rewer having only recently signed on Follow the SUn , when her former captain gave up tyring to run both the yacht and the lobster boat that supplies Boinis's Ship Cafe Marina at Ocean City. The new partners were severely tested when they sent their shakedown cruise - or honeymoon - competing in last week's White Marlin Open. Boinis and Rewer passed, but the fishing failed.
Boinis was a favorite when the three-day contest opened because, as tournament director Jim Motsko said, "There isn't anybody who fishes this coast harder or smarter than Pete, and Stan has hell of a reputation for finding fish." Rewer, whose easygoing manner conceals a fishing mania at least as obsessive as Boinis's grew up in Ocean City and has worked in tackle shops or on boats since he was 11.
At stake was $20,000 in prizes for various categories of fish, including $5,000 for the biggest white marlin, plus at least as much more in several calcutta betting pools. Boinis wanted to beat the 200 other anhlers ("second place is as good as last as far as I'm concerned"), but mainly he wanted to hook up with a marlin.
"I've always had to be outdoors," Boinis said as he sat in the Sun's single fighting chair, watching the wake boil out of the stern as Rewer raced to get the boat in position over Norfolk Canyon, where they had jointly decided the fishing would be best, in time for the 9 a.m. opening gun. "I played football (he was a star guard at the University of Maryland), baseball, everything, until my knee got torn up. I almost went crazy untilI got into sport fishing. It's the only thing this knee will let me do and, thank God, it's the finest sport there is.
"The blue marlin is the king of sport. He's the grand slam. He's smart, he's strong and when he tailwalks at the end of your line it takes your breath away. Not to mention your back and your shoulders. I've taken 29 blues off. Ocean City (all but two of which he released), and I'm looking forwrd to No. 30 just as much as No. 1.
He has also taken and released more than 200 white marlin, which was the name of this day's game. "Your white is a much smaller fish, but he fights at least as hard pound for pound." Boinis said. "The problem with a blue, is to get him to the boat. With the White, the problem is to get him on the book. He'll mouth the bait, and if he senses something unnatural about it or you don't strike him at just the right mo- ment, he'll spit it right out. Your blue, he's so big he isn't afraid of anything, he'll just stuck it down."
Follow the Sun was laboring through the moderate seas, answering the helm sloppily because the diesel engines were not synchronized. "Woof," Rewer said mildly after a rogue wave had lashed the flying bridge when he could not get the boat to turn into it quickly enough. "We had the starboard clutch replaced and they put in the wrong reduction gear," he said. "Turning 3,100 rpm on one wheel and 2,200 on the other, there's no way to make them work together. Cuts the cruising speed from 22 knots to about 17. Makes it a long ride."
He arrived at the chosen position with time to spare for rigging out the seven lines Boinis trails when trolling, two hookless teasers on the long out-riggers and five rods reeled with 50-or 80-pound test monofilament line. It is considered more sporting to use lighter line - even where there is a chance the fish that takes a lure may weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds - but "in a tournament situation you don't want to find yourself playing a money fish on a trout line," crewman Jack Harper observed.
At 9:15 the first showed, a white marlin that slipped up almost unnoticed and skipped from one bait to another, sampling the mackerel and ballyhoo bails before slurping a squid and sounding without giving Boinis a chance to hook him "I told you they were smart," Boinis said.
While Rewer cirled for another pass, the AHN reported the release of the tournament's first white marlin (a released white, of any size, was worth 75 points; boated fish scored a point per pound). Rewer regarded the radio sourly for a moment and then scampererd up to the tuna tower, a platform that reels drunkenly far above the water but gives a splendid view of any fish in the neighborhood.
At 9:58 another white, twice the size of the first, rose and vanished. "I think these fish must be full of bait," Boinis grumbled. "They're just playing around."
"If it'll make you feel any better, I think that was a little blue," Rewer called down from the bridge. Boinis stayed in the chair, breathing diesel fumes every time the boat turned downwind, until 12:40, when a white marlin came streaking up the wake.
There was controlled pandemonium as Rewer reeled in the outriggers and Boinis raced from one rod to another as the fish switched back and forth. The mate juggled the abandoned rods, inserting them back into their holders as quickly as possible, since any fish that struck a rod Harper was holding could not be called credited to Boinis.
The marlin slashed at several baits and slapped at others. "Man, look at him light up," Rewer said. "He's really excited." The broad pectoral fins of the darting fish, normally off-white, were glowing an iridescent cobalt blue. The color and intensity were such that an observer, seeing the display for the first time, thought for a moment that Rewer and Harper had conspired to rig a lighted model as a joke.
Then the color faded perceptibly and in that moment the fish was gone. "You never see that on the dock," Boinis said. "There's something sad and ugly about a dead marlin. That's why I stay out here with the live ones."
Follow the Sun raised a couple more marlin the first day, including one white that probably was bigger than the 79-pounds that won the tournament, but none would take a bait. Boinis seemed remarkably unperturbed.
"These things aren't over until the last minute of the last day," he said. "You hear a lot of reports from other boats, but those are just radio fish until the weigh-in, and everbody with a line in the water has a chance."
He was right. He caught and released a small white on the second day and nothing at all on the third and last when Buster Day of Rockville boated the winning fish 10 minutes before the end of the contest.
Boinis was not available to clear up certain details about the tournament that were obscured by spray-soaked notes.
"No way to get hold of Pete," the man on the telephone at the Ship Cafe said. "He's out fishing. Out of radio range. Out of his mind, too, the way the wind is blowing out there."